Gay minister hails ‘milestone’ moment for church

THE decision by the Kirk to allow the ordination of openly gay ministers has been described as a “milestone” by
the minister whose appointment sparked the controversy.
A commissioner casts his vote on Monday. Picture: Phil WilkinsonA commissioner casts his vote on Monday. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
A commissioner casts his vote on Monday. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The Rev Scott Rennie said that he was “delighted” for gay and lesbian members of the church and that it offered them “the place and the dignity” in the Kirk, but also offered the church as a whole, “peace and unity”.

Mr Rennie’s appointment to Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen, in 2009, triggered the crisis when objections were raised by church members on the grounds that he was openly gay.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That year’s General Assembly upheld the congregation’s right to appoint the minister of its choice.

That led to a second debate and vote in 2011, in which commissioners agreed to allow openly gay ministers, appointed prior to the 2009 General Assembly, to remain in their posts, while setting up a theological commission to examine the implications of allowing future ordination of openly gay ministers and report back.

On the back of this report, the Assembly on Monday chose to affirm the Kirk’s traditional stance on human sexuality, but allow congregations who wanted to appoint an openly gay minister in a civil partnership to do so.

In an interview with BBC Radio Scotland yesterday, Mr Rennie said: “There’s no doubt it’s a milestone because it is at last a recognition of the place of gay and lesbian people within the ministry, and there are a number.”

He added that it was important that the motion that was finally accepted was brought forward by former moderator the Very Rev Albert Bogle and Rev Alan Hamilton, both of whom had been on the traditionalist wing of the church, describing it as a sign that the Kirk was committed “to stand together, to work together, to live together”.